Blog archive: All

  • 21st November 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A Russian-led move to restrict investigation of chemical attacks in Syria was heavily defeated at the Chemical Weapons Convention review conference in The Hague on Tuesday. As a result, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will now be able to carry out further...
  • 15th November 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    November 16 is the UN's International Day for Tolerance and to mark this occasion one of the world's less tolerant countries – the United Arab Emirates – is holding a "World Tolerance Summit". About 1,000 people are expected to attend the two-day conference organised by the ...
  • 9th November 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In 2014 two human rights researchers from Britain went missing in Qatar. They had gone to investigate the conditions of migrants working in the Gulf state and it turned out that the authorities, displeased by the researchers' activities, had arrested them. International...
  • 22nd October 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Last November Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist, travelled to Riyadh for an interview with the heir to the Saudi throne – an interview that has since proved memorable for all the wrong reasons. Under a headline announcing "Saudi Arabia’s Arab Spring, at...
  • 19th October 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A lobbyist who has received at least $120,000 for PR activities on behalf of Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar is one of the scheduled speakers at a controversial meeting to be held in the House of Lords later this month. The meeting, billed as a discussion on postwar "reconstruction and...
  • 15th October 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The disappearance and suspected murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul is the latest in a long line of reasons for questioning Britain's relationship with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf monarchies.  It's a relationship that has never been viewed with...
  • 7th October 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    As the humanitarian situation in Yemen continues to worsen, there are signs that the Houthis who seized control of the capital in 2014 face a growing challenge in the form of public discontent. On Saturday more than 50 people were arrested outside Sana'a University while protesting against...
  • 3rd October 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Isa Blumi is a senior lecturer at Stockholm University and author of a book published earlier this year – "Destroying Yemen: What Chaos in Arabia Tells Us about the World". It's a "superb" book according to a commentator on RT, the Russian propaganda channel, and Vanessa Beeley, a prominent...
  • 19th September 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Peter Hitchens, the Mail On Sunday columnist, claims to have detected a "very interesting pattern" in official reports about chemical weapon allegations in Syria. The pattern, he says, is that "if official reports don't justify punitive attacks on Syria, new reports then appear, which do...
  • 13th September 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A "vast body of evidence" supports claims that a chemical attack took place in Douma earlier this year, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said yesterday.  The reported attack, on April 7, led to airstrikes by American, British and French forces six days later. As on all previous...
  • 12th September 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Video footage of a faked chemical attack in Syria, which the Russian military claimed would be "handed to global news outlets by the end of Tuesday", has so far failed to materialise. According to a briefing note issued by the Russian Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in...
  • 10th September 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Fighting near the Yemeni city of Hodeidah intensified at the weekend after peace talks in Geneva were abandoned before they had even begun. The talks foundered over a dispute about travel arrangements which meant that representatives of the Houthi rebels who control much of northern...

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